The Sunshine Coast has a marvelous climate (compared to most of Canada), a population concentrated along a single corridor, and surges in highway traffic created by ferry arrivals and seasonal visitors.
The best infrastructure to deal with these surges is not a new four-lane highway located far from the waterfront where most people live, but more easily accessible bus stops with more frequent bus service, a multi-use path for pedestrians and cyclists that parallels but is but separated from the highway, and a passenger-only ferry connecting downtown Vancouver with downtown Gibsons.
Changing the way people get around is sometimes called “modal shift” and the best thing about it is that it works even if only a fraction of the population does it. If you need your truck for work, keep using your truck. If you need to drive your elderly mother to shopping, keep doing that. The truth is many of us want to be able to get around using bicycles and public transit, but doing so feels too dangerous when no safe infrastructure is provided.
Imagine our highway with even 15 or 20 per cent fewer cars because those trips have shifted to bus and bike. It really can work, and since the same provincial ministry that has authority over our highway also has authority over BC Transit and BC Ferries, it is something that could be done easily and at relatively low cost. It makes sense to at least try before we spend all those dollars on a new highway.
Tannis Braithwaite, Sechelt